Throwback Thursday Condo Post 3 – Living Spaces

There’s not much room for surprises in a high-rise condo with concrete ceilings, is there? Not much, but there’s some. Remember how I said the carpeting was beat and grimy? It turns out that the padding under it had also hardened into some strange mealy substance that was stuck to the floors and had to be scraped off and bagged up. And there were vinyl baseboards coming unglued throughout the place. We naturally wanted to replace them with wood, but it turned out to be kind of complicated to attach them into the steel studs. And it didn’t help that the walls were 3/8″ drywall (1/2″ is standard) and the studs were 24″ apart (16″ is standard). It took a lot of trim head screws but we got it done. Mostly my dad. (This is the only before pic we have but you can kinda see what I mean).

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But the biggest challenge with this project was Nana herself. She was always into decorating but this time around she was 87 and couldn’t process all the decisions that go into a project of this size anymore. They would talk about colors, then my mom would pick them and give Nana a few options. She picked the lightest option every time. We tried and failed to get her to go darker in the living room, then she didn’t like the color either. I wanted to paint it again but my mom said no  way. And when it was all done and the grimy woodwork was painted over, it looked fine.

Living Room 2.jpg

While we’re in the living room I’ll show you the rest. A friend of the family had a swag and jabot valence that was about 8 inches short for the huge window in the living room. Nana didn’t want it because she thought plaid was too informal but my aunt forced her to take it. We lengthened it by taking the jabots off, splicing wood onto either end, and stapling them back on. That was surprisingly easy. The hard part was hanging it. The ceiling is some kind of insane precast concrete and my dad’s power nailer wouldn’t go through it. I’m talking about a tool made by Remington that shoots 22 caliber charges, not an air compressor. But anyways, we got it up.

Living Room.jpg

And my mom gave her a bit of that separate dining room she wanted with a different wall color in the alcove. Putting up the chair rail was not fun.

Dining Room.JPG

Then there were the closet doors. Originally the place had floor to ceiling metal bifold doors with louvers that looked like lockers. And they stuck and made horrible noises when you tried to open and close them. My mom has an aversion to flat doors and was gonna get hollow paneled ones. I talked her out of it. The plan had been to add trim to all the doors and make them look like 2-paneled doors. That never happened. And in her bedroom there was a narrow hallway with closet doors on one side and a door to the bathroom on the other. Instead of replacing the closet doors, we left them open and walled off the whole hallway. Unfortunately, I have no photos of this. But here’s a look at the room.

nana's bedroom.jpg

And the den, because yes, she needed a den separate from her formal living room. Here’s a look at her old one. There’s a small chance I’m looking for an exuse to get this awesome picture in this post.

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Squaring off the room with bookcases was my idea. And I guess ignore the sheet on the couch. She was very dissatisfied with this furniture but still insisted on keeping it protected.

den sofas.jpg

And we put up a shelf with old things on it like she had before. But a lot fewer old things. Her TV show is a perfect match too!

Den.jpg

And I guess we can play “Count the things Chad took” again.

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14 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday Condo Post 3 – Living Spaces

      1. coteetcampagne

        I would imagine that your Nan thinks you should be sitting upright anyhow.
        It reminds me of those classic French sofas that look wonderful but which you cannot possibly lounge or relax on

        Like

  1. francetaste

    The shortcuts the builder took are just breathtaking (and not in a good way). I wonder whether the plans actually specified 3/8 inch drywall and studs 24 inches apart.
    My mom also had trouble making up her mind. She wanted her back door to be red on the outside and sky blue on the inside. For years, she wasn’t satisfied with any color choices, and it was unpainted, except for slashes of paint one brother made on the inside to give her an idea of different colors. Really awful. Finally, I took her to a paint store, they informed her that there not all the colors of the rainbow were available in paint for a steel door, and she picked a red (I think there were three–light, dark and in-between) and a blue (ditto). And she was happy with the result. Having too many choices is a sure way to ruin decisionmaking.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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